At the sound of the intercom buzzer on Lex's desk, Lionel snapped "Yes?", displeased to be interrupted in his enjoyment of the exquisite recording of Mendelssohn which flavored the air. In Lex's absence, he sat at Lex's desk, enjoying the music. Lex would not have been playing Mendelssohn on his expensive, unparalleled sound system. Lex's taste in music, as far as Lionel could tell, currently ran to whatever was popular with Kansas farm boys.
"Lana Lang," said Jonah's voice on the intercom."She's here to see Mr. Lex Luthor."
"Send her up." Lionel sat back in Lex's chair. He knew that Jonah knew Lex was not at home, and that Jonah had not mentioned this to Miss Lang. Jonah knew how things worked in the Luthor household.
He saw the surprise on her face as she entered, expecting Lex. She turned to close the door, giving him a good view of her tight young butt and lovely legs in narrow jeans. It gave her time to compose her face, too, but she did a bad job of it. Lana Lang was not good at hiding her thoughts. She had worked out a strategy for whatever it was she wanted, and now had to revise her agenda, faced with Lionel instead of Lex. He wondered what she wanted to wheedle out of Lex now. It was unlikely that she might want another coffee shop; something personal, then. Lionel wondered, not for the first time, whether Lana Lang and his son were lovers or had ever been so. He wondered also how intimate her connection had been with Clark Kent, the amazingly popular (but elusive) son of Martha and Jonathan.
"I'm sorry," she said, a bad tactic as conversation-openers go. "I came to see Lex."
"He isn't here." Lionel kept a faint tone of apology in his voice, the mildest hint of self-deprecation, as if he imagined himself a poor substitute. It was true that Lex was not here. Lionel did not add that he would give a good deal to know where Lex actually was. No one here seemed to be able to tell him. Either Lex had trained his people to be exceptionally loyal and to be exceptionally good liars, or he had taken pains to keep his activities this afternoon a secret.
Lionel wondered if Lex were at the Kent farm. Clark Kent was a remarkable young man whom Lionel liked to think of as Smallville's mystery weapon, whose relationship with Lex was a matter of deep speculation for Lionel. So far he had completely failed to get to the bottom of it. He wondered whether Lex and the Kent boy were in the barn, exploring the mixed pleasure of sex in a hayloft. Lionel had experienced his share of haylofts; he had, he supposed, over the years, tried everything. He had decided that hay lofts were only for those who could not afford silk sheets, but Lex had regressive tastes.
Wherever Clark and Lex were and whatever they were doing, it was clear this girl knew nothing of it. "Can I help you, Miss Lang?"
"Maybe you can." She moved cautiously to the center of the room. He rose, crossing the room to the comfortable love-seats that Lex had set beside the fireplace, and motioned for Miss Lang to sit.
She sat, moving with grace, showing also a self-consciousness that betrayed her shyness. She was like that - coltish. He remembered her at ten, visiting him in Metropolis with Nell. She'd had huge dark eyes and a nervous manner, with no interest in anything that didn't have hoofs and live in the stable. Horse-mad. She had interrupted Lex in some poolside indiscretion, which had been amusing to everyone but the girl Lex was with, whose parents got wind of it. He wondered if Lana were still as prudish now.
He wondered how easy or difficult it would be to seduce her. It was not the first time he had considered this. He had seldom encountered the girl since he had dropped Nell, but her connection to Lex and to Clark Kent had attracted his attention and then his interest.
Her eyes were hotly defensive as he sat across from her, close enough to touch but not doing so. She may have been prudish at ten, but at the age of - what was she now, sixteen, seventeen? - at the age of seventeen it seemed unlikely that the niece of Nell and the daughter of Laura would be lacking in sensuality. If there was something between her and Lex, it was unlikely that she retained her sexual shyness. In any case, Lionel knew (as Lex did) that prudery was often an outward expression of repression, of hidden lusts eager to explode. Sometimes the most proper in public turn out to be the most uninhibited in bed. Had Lex explored the desires of this Smallville princess - his "business partner"?
The phrase amused Lionel, not just because it was an anomaly when used with this wide-eyed girl who thought a remodeled coffee shop was "business". It tickled him because he remembered Lex's first business partner, a lanky, illiterate drug-dealer who had helped Lex make a small fortune in bargain-basement hallucinogens. Lionel had put a stop to the "business" but was pleased to note Lex's considerable success in the matter, garnering a loyal client base and raising no shred of suspicion from the law. Phelan had never even known about it.
Lex had made that ambitious youth a sex partner as well as a business partner, and had sulked when Lionel parted them. The lad was inventive in bed, but much less sensuous than he had thought himself. Since then, Lex's lovers had proved to be an oddly varied lot, all ages and sexes and taste. Lionel was no longer sure of their identities. Since Victoria, Lex had been uncharacteristically secretive about his affairs. Desiree, yes. Helen, yes. Clark Kent... probably. Who else?
Lionel knew that Lex had surprisingly, at least at first, avoided sex with the Smallville locals. It might have been because they shunned him - but unlikely; Lionel's experience was that wealth overcame deep prejudices when it came to sex. And to some, an unsavory reputation was an aphrodisiac.
Lionel leaned forward, bringing his face closer to Lana's. She looked at him with anxious eyes that were wide with sincerity. She smelled of something feminine - primrose and lilac. Her shirt was form-fitting, pink, covered in small red flowers, which complemented the scent. She dressed to allure, but her body language spelled resistance.
She said, "I wanted to talk to Lex about Gabe Sullivan. Gabe doesn't deserve to lose his job. He's a hard worker, Mr. Luthor. He knows the plant here better than anyone else."
Ah: the crux. Lana Lang lived with the Sullivans. Unemployed, Gabe Sullivan might have to leave Smallville, which left Lana Lang with two options: to leave Smallville with Gabe and Chloe, or to move to Metropolis to live with Nell. Lana Lang, more than anything else, wanted to stay in Smallville.
Why? What was here for her? She'd had a boyfriend who had joined the army, and died. He'd been a good contender for the Sharks, a toothsome young man that Lionel would have liked to get to know better. But she had ended that relationship: it wasn't the memory of a dead boyfriend keeping her here. What, then? The dead parents? Unlikely. The Kent boy? That was heartbreak in the making. Lex?
No; the Talon. The coffee shop she had slaved over and which she loved as she once had loved her horses. Lionel had been there once. It had given him a headache in minutes. Lex had laughed. "Lana may be color-blind, but she makes great lattes." Quite possibly, but Lionel had passed up the chance to sample one. He believed coffee should be black and strong, needing only the occasional enhancement of liquor.
He smiled at her in warm understanding. "You overestimate my influence with my son, if you think I can make him change his mind on a business matter. He felt Gabe Sullivan's work to be substandard. He is pleased with the work of Sullivan's successor." He took her hand, comforting. She did not pull it away. In fact, she clasped his hand in return as if the touch were welcome. Did she know what she was doing?
He was ready to bet the girl was not a virgin. The extent of her experience was uncertain. The soldier, no doubt, was her first. Then perhaps Clark Kent... sex with Clark Kent would give her a remarkable knowledge of that amazing young man that Lionel itched to discover. Or possibly Lex - a notion that was truly exciting.
Why would Lex, who was nothing if not a hard-headed businessman, fund a broken-down theater as a garish coffee shop, if not for some persuasion or return? Not money: the place broke even, but was hardly making a fortune. Enough to support a teen-age girl of modest needs, but not much above that. Sex, perhaps? Favors given for favors offered?
Not that either Lex or Lana would put it so crudely. Lana might see it as affection or comfort. Lex would see it as - whatever. You never knew with Lex. Sometimes he treated sex as a pleasant romp. At other times, he took it with painful seriousness.
At least Lex was unlikely to want to marry the Lang girl.
"Could you at least talk to him?" She curled her fingers as he fondled them. "I thought he might listen to me, and explain why he did it. Gabe didn't do anything wrong. I know he didn't."
No, but his daughter had seriously annoyed Lionel. "He has said nothing to me."
She looked down at their joined hands. Lionel shifted a little forward on his seat. Their knees were almost touching. Lex, damn him, had left the seats too far apart for more contact than that - perhaps, thought Lionel wryly, it was the right distance to play with a long-legged farm boy. She tensed a little, but still did not pull her hands away. "It isn't like him to be so cruel, for no reason."
"You're concerned about Chloe? I know you are close friends."
"We're like sisters." She looked up, and saw Lionel's smile. She took it as skepticism. "We are! Are you thinking we're jealous of each other?"
"Of course," said Lionel hastily, with such patent insincerity that Lana frowned.
"You don't believe me?"
"My dear, I know you mean it sincerely. It is Chloe's claim to feeling... sisterhood... for you that I doubt."
"Why? Chloe is very honest."
"Chloe Sullivan is besotted over Clark Kent. You stand in her way. She thinks his lack of interest in her is because he wants you. She hides her resentment, but she feels it bitterly."
Lana looked down again, sighing. She let Lionel's hands rove over hers as if she didn't notice. He knew she noticed. She shivered. "She doesn't hate me."
"I have seen her look at you. No, it's all right, you don't need to believe me. If you should feel like asking her about it, it would be interesting to know what she might say."
"I know Chloe wants Clark," said Lana. "She's always wanted Clark. She makes no secret of it. We've discussed that. We sorted it out between us." She was breathing quickly and her breasts, moving slightly under the light shirt, were young and soft. Lionel imagined Lex touching them. Had Lex touched them? Here, perhaps, in this same room?
Lionel nodded seriously. "There are too many secrets in Smallville already."
That brought tears to Lana's eyes, pretty tears that sparkled in the corners and did not fall. Lionel considered licking them away, but he knew that would be moving too fast, if only by minutes. Lana was deliciously vulnerable.
He dropped his voice slightly. "You know she can never have Clark, any more than you can."
Her intake of breath was almost a gasp. She stared at him as if a danger threatened. Unusual insight: Lionel was moving in for the kill here, moving with slow, deliberate tenderness. "What do you mean?"
"Haven't you guessed why Clark Kent won't sleep with you? Why he disappears when you most want him? Why he is evasive in personal matters?"
"No," she whispered, as if afraid to hear.
Time to be direct: to shock her. "Clark Kent is fucking my son. That's why he doesn't want you, or Chloe, or any other woman."
It had the ring of simple truth, whether it were true or not. Believing it, Lana burst into tears.
He took her into his arms, sitting beside her, stroking the lovely hair. Her body was warm and inviting, the scent of primrose stronger now, the scent of Lana herself mingled with it. She was aroused already, whether she realized it or not. He murmured sweet nothings and kissed her head. Her voice was muffled against his chest. "He can't be!" But from the words, Lionel knew Lana thought he was, thought he had been doing so for some time. It was as if this pseudo-truth brought a series of puzzles into focus for her, answered unanswered questions, made sense in a way other possibilities did not.
Which in itself was a clue for Lionel.
With one arm, Lionel embraced her, while with the other he lifted her chin and kissed her lips. He tasted tears and lipstick and had a whiff of the same sweet primrose. Her taste was overwhelming, so young and fresh. "He doesn't want you," he murmured. "Not as I do."
She was melting against him, her eyes shut, trembling as she kissed. Her tongue was passive, her lips active, as if she did not know what she wanted. As if she were trying to fight her own instincts.
Lionel knew her body wanted what he wanted. He ran his hands along her back under her shirt, found the bra-clasp to be the type he had known it would be, and he slipped the hook apart. Her skin was smooth and clear. She whimpered a little as his kiss deepened, and he slipped his other hand between her legs, stroking her thigh, so she obligingly moved her legs apart. Teasingly, he moved his hand down to her knee and let it rest there.
His other hand was more bold. He soothed her body under the shirt, cupped her breast and began to finger a nipple. Had Lex done this? Had she liked it? Had she given that little intake of breath, as she did now, and moved her body as if inflamed from within? "Beautiful," he whispered, honestly.
Her eyes opened. Smiling gently, he pulled her shirt up, over her breasts, catching her bra with his thumbs and pulling it off with the shirt, over her head, as she lifted her arms to help him, so that in an instant he had the sight of those small, pointed breasts inches from his mouth, and the long, sweet expanse of her torso. He tossed the shirt and bra onto the floor behind them and bent to lick her nipple. Sweet, hot, hard, dark on the satin skin.
Her hands touched his head. At first her touch was gentle, as if she feared to make contact. He nipped her skin and her fingers tightened and held, running through his hair, catching on the odd tangle. He knew she could feel the touch of his beard on her breast, both soft and rough. Often women expected his beard to be scratchy, and were surprised by its texture, a tactile delight. This was something Lex would never be able to do to Lana or any woman. Of course, his unusual skin offered its own advantages.
He unbuttoned her jeans, sucking harder, pulling her closer to him. Her legs were fully spread now, with his between them, and she pressed against his thigh. Willing. Eager. He raised his head to look into her eyes and saw all that he wanted, and more. Need. Fear. Hope. Adoration.
He unzipped her jeans, working his tongue into her navel. "Miss Lang," he said, sucking on the skin, making her tremble again. His hand wandered up her leg, all the way up this time, holding her warmly between the legs through the thick cloth of the jeans. She moved against his hand, biting her lower lip, as if what he gave her were not enough.
Keeping his mouth at her waist, he caressed her breast and her crotch in echoing motions. "Perhaps I should stop?" he asked.
"No," she said, the word broken and brittle. Her breathing was uneven. He sat up to kiss her mouth, never pausing in the insistent rhythm of both hands, and she kissed him with ardor and strength. Her hands (so small, compared to his) clasped his buttocks to pull him closer against her and moved his hand behind her, pressing his cock against her, making her gasp.
"My dear, you are so young, and I...." He let the sentence die. His voice caught at a sensation from her rocking motion against his cock: God, she was sexy! Tiny and inexperienced, young and nervous, but full of explosive heat.
"No! Don't stop. Please." She dropped her mouth to his neck so that her hair brushed him with the motion. "Please. I need this."
His heart was beating almost as fast as hers. He thought of her in Lex's arms, in Clark's, in Whitney's, showing the same fire and need. When had someone last aroused him like this?
His hand slipped inside her jeans, finding her clit, pleased by the wet heat beyond it. "What do you need?" he asked.
Her cheeks flushed. "Anything. Everything. Please."
"Do you want me to suck you?"
"Oh! Yes." Her voice caught with the pinch of his fingers on her nipple again. He dropped his hands to her hips, pulling the jeans down, watching her body, touching her with his thumbs as he ran them over her hips, exposing her belly, her pubic hair, her hips, her thighs, lifting her in his arms to pull her jeans and panties off and toss them aside. The panties were damp.
He lay her back against the cushions. She clutched his hand, fingers entwining around fingers. He used the other hand to push her knee against the back of the sofa, taking her labia in his mouth, sucking, moving his tongue against her and then within her. She moaned and moved a little. Her groan rose in tone and he backed off, licking gently, letting his thumb sooth her dampening skin, letting the pressure of his mouth ebb and flow. He raised his head.
"Don't stop," she said. A plea? A command? It might have sounded firm but her eyes were desperate. He smiled, and blew a stream of air onto her skin; wet from his mouth, wetter still from her arousal.
"Shall I fuck you?" He almost put it more delicately, but changed his mind at the sight of the wildness in her eyes. She squirmed on the upholstered seat, the texture of brushed leather that she must be able to feel the length of her back. She was naked, and he had not undressed at all.
She tossed her head back against the cushions, arching to press her breasts against his chest. He could feel her nipples through his cotton shirt.
"Yes," she said, mumbling as if frightened, and then opened her eyes wider, spoke more clearly. "Yes." But her voice was thick and slurred.
He put a hand between them, keeping her clit under his thumb, pushing two fingers inside her. Wet, hot, welcoming. She was ready. He moved his fingers against the pressure around them and she squeezed against him, cried out, pressing her body against his cock. Had Lex done this, lying over her on this very sofa, touching and tasting her, making her gasp and shudder, making her drip onto the upholstery? Had Lex's eyes held the smoky shade of arousal that hers now had, as he kissed and sucked and tasted her?
Lionel's throat was dry. She was utterly beautiful like this, her eyelids half-lowered over eyes that shone with glints of lust. Her skin had the sheen of arousal, damp with sweat, glistening and smelling of sweetness and spice and salt. She ran her hands over his chest, playing with his skin through the thin cotton of his shirt. Keeping the fingers of one hand inside her, he put a finger of the other into her mouth and she sucked it wildly until he pulled it out. She used her mouth then to kiss him, sucking on his lips, sucking at his beard. He played with her vagina, teasing with his fingers, pressing with his palm, not letting her get used to any one motion. He pulled his hand away and bit her neck, palming her buttocks, then slipping fingers into her again, moving more roughly, stretching her more forcibly. He had half-forgotten what the games of sex were like for the very young, who had felt so little of what their bodies knew.
She was wet inside and getting wetter, soaking his hand, and her own hands wandering, touched his face, then his shoulders - where they tightened - then his hair, playing with its texture. Her own hair lay under her like a pillow. He licked her nipple, catching it with his teeth, feeling the reaction in the movement of muscle around his hand.
She said, "I'm going to-" and then stopped as he pulled his hand abruptly away from her. She bit her lip.
"Come? No, my dear. Not quite yet. When you do, it will be an experience to remember." She moved as if to close her legs, but he put a hand on her knee to stop her. He looked appreciatively at her: labia red and glistening wet, nipples hard, eyes distracted. "Don't move. I like seeing you like this."
She nodded, watching him as he moved away from her. He licked his fingers to taste her while he walked to Lex's desk, going to the drawer with the handy stash of lubricated condoms. Had it been the same with Lex? Had she watched him go to the desk, take out a packet, unbutton and start to unzip his trousers, as Lionel was doing now?
She licked her lips, staring at him in wonder and desire.
He walked back to the girl slowly, feeling the heavy ache of his arousal. She was staring at his cock as if she'd never actually seen one before. Had her previous lovemaking always happened in the dark? He raised his eyebrows and she said, "You're so...."
He couldn't let her stop there. "So? What am I, Miss Lang?"
She licked her lips, trying to think of a word, though clearly her intellect was not functioning. "So masculine," she finished, and flushed.
Interesting. A compliment, of course: she was impressed, but also intimidated. It meant, he supposed, that she had never gone so far with Clark Kent as to see him naked and aroused. As for Lex - the hairlessness would make a difference.
He removed his shoes, socks, trousers, underwear, draping them over the back of the seat across from Lana. He unbuttoned his shirt, but did not take it off. She savored him with her eyes and moved her hips a little in impatience and anticipation, without changing position.
He tore open the condom wrapper and handed her the rubber. "Put it on me," he said, his voice low. It was unquestionably a command, but a gentle one.
She blushed, which made his cock twitch. She had to sit up a little to do this, her mouth pursed in concentration. It was a pity about the condom, but really, it would be inconvenient to have a pregnant teenager in Smallville to worry about. Her fingers were delicate on his cock, then firm, as they smoothed the latex. She knew what she was doing. Had she done this with Whitney? Not Clark, he was beginning to be sure. With Lex?
The thought made him groan, and she smiled briefly, thinking it was her touch which had aroused him, as of course it had. He pushed her back onto the seat of the sofa, and spread her legs again, rubbing his cock against her labia. He kissed her lightly, felt her lips reach for his as if suffering a terrible thirst. He clenched his teeth and whispered, "This is the moment of truth, Miss Lang," and plunged inside her. The time to be gentle and careful was past.
She was ready and more than ready, and cried out with the sensation. Her head tossed and she said something garbled, something about "yes!" and "more!" without real words emerging, and he rode her hard, his hands holding her wrists over her head, her body twisting against him, her breath jerky and her skin glowing in the fading sunlight from the windows. Had Lex seen her like this? She did not call his name; had she ever called Lex's?
She was the essence of Smallville: beautiful, simple, and still unknowable.
He spread her legs wider as he moved between them, wrists between them, his fingers kneading her buttocks and his thumbs stroking her labia, his hands soaking, the sound of wetness and damp bodies impacting loud in the air. Her face was full of wonder, half-focused, as if she were on another planet.
She screamed when she climaxed. Her loudness pleased him. He half-hoped they would be interrupted, that someone would walk in - Lex, perhaps angry, perhaps shocked and aroused by the sight of his father with his partner, or perhaps Clark Kent, yes, that was even better, Clark Kent, desperate to rescue the maiden from a fate worse than death at a hand of Smallville's notorious enemy.
Lionel did not stop or slow down. He felt her body relax as orgasm subsided, and thrust harder and more slowly. Her hands tightened on his shoulders. He saw something change in her eyes, the dawn of surprise as another climax overtook her, and this time she half-rose from the cushions and clutched at his back, gasping.
He let himself go then, confident in possession and accomplishment.
She lay in his arms, trembling from time to time. He stroked her hair and murmured something.
After a while, he released her, and got up, putting on his underwear, his socks, his trousers, his shoes; rebuttoning his shirt and fastening his tie. She watched him dress, eyes wide and vulnerable. He went into Lex's washroom and washed his hands and his cock, then came out, fully dressed, with a warm, damp cloth that he used to wipe the sweat and fluids from her body. He knew it would be refreshing; he knew it would comfort her; he knew the show of nurturing tenderness would make all the difference to any further encounters they might have.
Then he held her, cuddled on his lap, naked and content.
She said in wonder, "That has never happened to me before."
"What?" he asked, pleased to hear it. "Coming twice in a row?"
"Coming at all. I've never... It never happened before."
He kissed her gently, repeatedly, all over her face, and then held her again, unmoving. She must never have been with Lex, after all. Lex would never leave a woman unsatisfied, and he had considerable skills at arousing them. Perhaps their encounter was still to happen, and when it did, Lex would learn that his father had been here first. Lionel liked the idea.
He moved her from his lap, kissing her hand lightly. "Get dressed, now. I have things I must do."
She looked startled, as if he had suddenly recalled her to the real world. "Yes. Of course." She dressed quickly, pulling on the little panties that barely covered her small, shapely bottom; the tight jeans, with which she had to struggle a little; the bra and shirt. She found the shoulder-bag she had come with, and paused then, clearly unsure how to say "good-bye" or even "thank you".
He touched her face. "It has been memorable."
She smiled briefly and went to the door. There, she stopped. Turned. She swallowed, and, it seemed, gathered her courage. Was she going to ask again about Gabe Sullivan? Lionel felt the negotiations had gone well. He had everything he wanted from her, and she had nothing from him.
But she said something different. "Mr. Luthor? Can we do this again?"
It was surrender, total and complete. She was his, now.
He smiled warmly at her. "Perhaps," he answered.
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